In order to get the best ticket prices, Martin and I are on a slightly earlier train today which means that by the time we arrive at Bank Top, I have plenty of time to pop into Taylors without wasting valuable drinking time. I bump into Tony on the way.
Once vitteled up, we hit the Quaker a few minutes before opening so we can get out of the cold. But we're still not the first ones in - no sirree, Bob. There is a guy sat at the bar - he orders a bit of Old Rosie cider and by the time I've given my order, he's downed the whole pint and is ready to order another. Worrying.
On the bar today we have Allendale Swift, Jennings World's Biggest Liar, Goose Eye Black Moor & Bitter, City of Cambridge Boathouse Bitter, Wensleydale Black Dub, Saltaire Winter Ale and Grays Champion Ale.
The Swift is an old favourite of ours but the Winter Ale is a canny drop.
A good choice too up in Number Twenty-2 Bradfield Farmers Blonde, Consett Ale Works Stout, Hawkshead Red & Lakeland Gold, Ilkley Mary Jane, Goose Eye Pommie's Revenge and Daleside Bitter in addition to the home range.
|Adam Rundle shoots and scores|
Today is pretty darned cold and the first at which I'd really wished I'd put on my long johns - by the end I was frozen stiff. I'll not make this mistake at the next game.
I think hopes amongst the fans had been raised by our away win at Ebbsfleet the previous weekend and I know that we wanted to exact revenge after Tamworth inflicted our first defeat so early into the season.
Teenage goal-hero Dale Hopson was once again the main focus of attention and once again he was working well with the rest of the team. However chances in the first half were at a premium as Tamworth put on a professional display.
Adam Rundle hit the woodwork but there were precious few other chances for the Quakers whilst at the other end, McReady cleared off the line from Iyseden Christie (still mobile) and Sam Russell made a couple of decent saves.
With Quakers under the cosh as they protected a single-goal lead, the 19-year-old latched on to a long pass from Marc Bridge-Wilkinson, missed by keeper Jonathon Hedge who was way outside his penalty area having been forward for a corner, and showed composure to seal victory.
In the second half Darlo started to show a bit more guile with Hatch and Rundle starting to put together some decent moves and put pressure on the Tamworth back four. But it was teenager Hopson who was the architect for the opening goal as he set Rundle free with a neat pass leaving the striker to slip the goal past the visiting keeper.
|Liam Hatch puts keeper Hedge under pressure|
But the single goal lead started to look very slender as Tamworth came back into the game and there was some panicky defending at times as the Quakers cleared their lines. Darlo fans were starting to fear the worst.
It was from a Tamworth corner in the dying stages of the game that the home fans were able to breath a sigh of relief. Keeper Hedge came up for the set piece but as it was cleared he raced back to his goal.
Adam Rundle picked up the ball and slipped it into the Tamworth half where Hopson picked it up and slotted it past Hedge to make it two-nil.
On the whole a deserved victory - three in a row - but Tamworth once again showed they're not a bad side and could easily have got something out of the game. Darlo however do need to find that cutting edge up front in order to make the most of the chances we're making.
The journey is always more enjoyable after a win and we actually arrived at KX a little earlier than expected. We popped along to the Euston Tap and were joined shortly after by Chrs and Clarkey from the London Millers.
My old Wycome chum Paul also popped in but started to feel unwell as it was pretty warm in the bar. He left to go home and it transpired that there was a bit of a sewage leak in one corner of the bar which may have triggered this off. Not pleasant.
As a result, Tony the manager called time, leaving us time for a final pint before we toddled off home.